Despite record low mortgage rates, Massachusetts real estate agents are cooler on the housing market than they were last year, according to a new survey.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its members were slightly less optimistic about the strength of the housing market and future price growth compared to a survey the group conducted at the end of 2013. Just last week, mortgage rates hit an almost two-year low of 3.73 percent, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
“The volumes of sales dropped slightly, primarily because of the inventory being down,” said Corinne Fitzgerald, the president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and a broker in Greenfield. “Some realtors consider that to be a challenge for the because the volume of sales matters for them as well.”
A random sample of Massachusetts real estate agents surveyed viewed the current market as “moderate,” with an index used to gauge the market’s strength dropping from 52.6 to 50.0 over the past year. Although survey respondents expected prices to continue rising, their sights were set lower than at the end of 2013, with an index of price expectations for the next year dropping from 75.4 to 70.3. That means real estate agents still expect prices to rise, but not as much as they did last year.
The group’s December sales data showed that home sale agreements and prices continued to rise, with the median price of a single-family home rising 4.1 percent compared to the end of December 2013, from $319,900 to $333,000. The median price of a Bay State condo rose similarly, from $306,500 to $318,500.
The Waltham-based association’s data also showed the number of home sale agreements signed, but not closed on, had risen from 2,406 at the end of 2013 to 3,096 at the end of 2014. The sum of home sales pending at the end of every month in 2014 had risen 6 percent over 2013’s total for condos and more than 11 percent for single-family houses, the group said.